Shia Labeouf fights against Donald Trump and uses art as his weapon of choice.
LaBeouf collaborated with Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö for the art project which involved a live stream camera at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. The project took place a short time before Donald Trump’s inauguration with the objective that members of the public would chant the words, “He will not divide us” as they passed by the live stream. LaBeouf describes the project as, “a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism”.
The project attracted a lot of controversy. Back in January, LaBeouf himself was arrested on the live stream because of a dispute where he allegedly pushed a member of the public. Because of this incident, The Museum of Moving Image removed the installation, and the project evidentially relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. However, the live stream was removed again after gun shots were heard in the same area.
The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool was decided to be the next location for ‘He Will Not Divide Us’ after LaBeouf and his team told them “Events have shown that America is simply not safe enough for this artwork to exist.”. The project at Liverpool entailed a flag with the words “He Will Not Divide Us” printed on it. The flag was set to be raised and continuously live-streamed during the four years Trump holds Presidency of the United States.
One day after the relocation to Liverpool, FACT tweeted, “On police advice, FACT and LaBeouf, Rönkko, and Turner have removed the installation HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US due to dangerous illegal trespassing.” Onlookers stated that trespassers were trying to remove the flag unsuccessfully.
Shia Labeouf’s project has been a magnet for violence, news, and discussion. In all three locations, “He Will Not Divide Us” has highlighted the way in which the people are divided; the support and the opposition.
Text: Isla Whiteford
Images: The Guardian, The Independent, NyDailyNews, Justjared